MICHAEL CARMAN’S GOLF COLUMN: It was windy and cold for first day of Arctic Open in Port Townsend

TYPICALLY I USE my Saturday and Sunday mornings to catch back up on my nasty sleeping habit.

Forgive me for my weekend laziness, I’m up and at them at 5:25 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Mother Nature intervened to knock me from my long winter’s nap at 9:18 a.m. last Saturday, when a wind gust clocked at 52 miles per hour rattled the Morgan Hill home in Port Townsend where I had spent the night.

That same moment a few blocks down the hill at Port Townsend Golf Club, a hardy band of brave and somewhat foolish men and women from around the North Olympic Peninsula were playing in the club’s 25th annual Arctic Open.

This event is touted as the one tournament that goes on in weather even mail carriers shy away from.

And it will continue to deserve that moniker.

Despite that gust and sustained winds of 30-40 miles per hour, competitors in the Arctic Open played on.

“The conditions on Saturday were without a doubt the toughest I had ever seen,” Port Townsend head pro Mike Early said.

“For the first time in 25 years there was discussion of delaying the round, and maybe even cancellation altogether.

“This was definitely a case of survival but, if you are going to play winter golf on the Olympic Peninsula you had better be tough, and the 70 players who signed up for this tournament know that on the bottom of the entry form it reads ‘we will play no matter what.’”

Everybody warmed up back home and were treated to a sunny and calm Sunday for the tourney’s second round.

Gary Thorne and Mark Mitrovich of Peninsula Golf Club in Port Angeles shot a 65 to pass Port Townsend assistant pro Gabriel Tonan and recent Port Townsend High School grad Ronnie Harrell and win their third Arctic Open gross championship.

Port Townsend golfers Jerry Speickerman and Rich Boyd shot 60-61 to win the net division by three strokes over Jim Fultz and Buddy O’Meara.

In the mixed division, Dave and Deb Nyblom bested Vicki Handyside and Wanda Synnestvedt for the trophy.

“We would like to say a special thanks to Marine View Beverage for their continued support for this tournament,” Early said.

“Their donations help us to raise money for Junior Golf at Port Townsend Golf Club, which in turn allows young people who might not get the chance to play golf the opportunity to experience this great game.”

Amen to that, golf needs as many young players as possible to keep this good thing going.

SkyRidge tourneys

With some Irish ancestry and a deep love of the “Leprechaun” movie series, I’m happy to help Sequim’s SkyRidge Golf Course announce its fifth annual Shamrock Scramble for Charity set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 19.

The four-person scramble will include 18 holes of golf, range balls, a traditional Irish “Mulligan” stew with all the fixin’s, dessert, an on-site cart girl to spread some good cheer, hot dogs at the turn and a pot o’gold for a lucky duffer.

A “Big Break” style skills challenge will follow play.

Cost is $180 per team or $45 per player.

SkyRidge will also hold its annual “Gut Buster” Tournament on Saturday, March 26.

Swing from the hips in this one, male players will play the black tees at 6,710 yards while the ladies will take a crack at 6,070 yards of golf course.

Players will receive golf, range balls, lunch, entry into a honey pot, four KP holes and a long putt competition on the 18th hole.

Cost for this individual medal-play tourney is $55 per person.

Discovery Bay ladies

The Discovery Bay Ladies Club recently met to discuss the upcoming season of play.

That group will begin play on Thursday, April 7.

Check-in is set for 9:30 a.m. with play getting underway at 10 a.m.

To join the ladies, phone the clubhouse at 360-385-0704.

Caddyshack redux

It would be remiss of me to fail to pass on the photo of John Daly’s new golf bag.

You can view the Caddyshakc inspired, Al Czervik-like creation at plixi.com/p/75888601.

Daly, who has had his struggles with alcoholic drinks, is thinking about getting it equipped with his new drinking vice, Diet Coke.

You continue to amaze me, Mr. Daly.

________

Michael Carman is the golf columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. He can be reached at 360-417-3527 or at pdngolf@gmail.com.

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